Federal Donuts opened at 1632 Sansom Street at 7 AM this morning, a whole day earlier than planned. We stopped in for a sneak peek yesterday, and sampled most of the offerings. The opening menu includes an all-new array of flavors for fried chicken and both fancy and “fresh hot” donuts, and the new tastes from the mind of Michael Solomonov do not disappoint. There’s a spicy peanut butter and jelly donut that makes a serious impression (in a very good way), and a new strawberry fennel sugar mix to coat our favorite type of FedNuts sweets, the hots that come popping out of the donut robot. But our favorite bite of all was the dill pickle glazed fried chicken.
How do the bits of fresh dill that show up, bright and green along the golden skin, manage to impart so much flavor to the crunchy bird? And how does the essence of “pickle,” that vinegary, vegetal pop, soak through the twice-fried exterior and make such a mark on the juicy meat inside? Even though we watched the team create the dish more than once, we still can’t say for sure. It really matters not. What does matter is that you find a day soon to head over to the new storefront around 11:45 AM, when chickens for the day first go on sale. Scoop up a half or a whole portion ($9 or $17), each served with Japanese pickles and a honey donut on the side, and your efforts will be worth the reward.